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J Assist Reprod Genet. 2008 Apr;25(4):137-43. doi: 10.1007/s10815-008-9215-4.

Male age influences oocyte-donor program results.

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Fertility Center, Assuta Medical Center, Rishon LeZion 57653, Israel.



The purpose of our research was to examine the relationship between male age and semen parameters in a range of ages (from 20s to 60s) in Egg Donation Program (EDP) cycles. EDP provides a pool of high quality oocytes, thus allowing better analysis of the sperm efficacy.


The retrospective study population consisted of 484 male partners of patients undergoing EDP in in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. A comparison was made of male age and sperm parameters within two groups: cycles resulting in a pregnancy (pregnant group) and cycles which failed to achieve a pregnancy (non-pregnant group). The men involved in the pregnant group were found to be significantly younger 43.2 +/- 8.1 than those of the nonpregnant group 46.81 +/- 7.8 (p = 0.003). Analysis of sperm morphology revealed a significant prevalence of teratozoospermia in males of the non-pregnant group, as compared to the males of the pregnant group (29% vs. 11%, respectively). The results also demonstrate that sperm parameters are apparently not diminished until men reach the age of 40. However, between 40-50 years old semen parameters deteriorate. Male age was found to be related to a reduction in sperm strict criteria: 44.8 in normozoospermia, 47.9 (p = 0.02), 48.4 (p = 0.04) and 51.9 (p = 0.001) years old in mild teratozoospermia, moderate teratozoospermia and severe teratozoospermia, respectively. Additionally, the results showed that the percentage of "healthy" embryos on day 3 of embryo culture was lower in the non-pregnant group (26%), as compared with the pregnant group (34%; p = 0.01).


Our study confirms that sperm parameters are reduced by age and suggests that this age-dependent effect could be a reason for failures in IVF cycles even in EDP couples.

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